Ep. 191 Three Vital Keys for Leading a Small Group

Shows Main Idea – Small groups have been popular for several decades in our local churches, and there are different kinds of them, which is excellent. In this podcast, I am going to address how to build a dynamic discipleship group that focuses on sanctification.

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Show Notes

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Three Vital Keys

This podcast is not an exhaustive treatment on the subject of envisioning and equipping a small group, but it will provide you with three vital keys, which are the purpose, your leader, and the environment.

The Purpose of the Group

A sanctification group is for the envisioning, engaging, and equipping of believers into greater Christlikeness, which looks like loving God and others effectively.

There are all types of groups, and none of them have to be wrong, but if you want a “sanctification group,” you must state that up front. If you are not clear on the purpose of the group, other opinions and agendas could take over what you hoped to do.

And because it’s a sanctification group, it’s for Christians only. Natural people cannot understand the things of God because we discern those things spiritually. Your goal is transformation, which implies the critical work of the Spirit of God, who is the “changer of lives.”

Additionally, it will take a while for the group to become comfortable with your goals, so having folks from the “same family” is essential. You also want to establish ground rules for the group in the first meeting. It would be better you envisioned potential members before the first meeting, so they will know what they are getting themselves into before they arrive.

  • What folks say in the group stays in the group.
  • It’s not a Bible study; we’re talking about our lives.
  • We won’t go through a book because we are the “books” that we will be studying each week.

The Leader of the Group

The leader has to be a skilled discipler, not just a “nice” person who is willing to lead. You’re looking for a true leader with a clear gift-mix that affirms their leadership gifting. The reason is that it will take a lot of wisdom, courage, discernment, and replication to lead.

  • Wisdom – When someone hijacks the meeting, the leader needs to know how to get things back on track.
  • Courage – The leader must be in charge of the meeting, which may mean confronting someone who is dominating the time or desires to turn the group into something that it is not, i.e., Bible study.
  • Discernment – The leader needs to know how to deal with heart issues, which means they can get under the surface of a person’s struggle. They either know or are learning the things that our Mastermind course teaches. Key: It’s a sanctification group, which connotes a lot of heart-work and practical application that move beyond theory.
  • Replication – The litmus test for any leader is the ability to replicate themselves in another person. If we don’t “make disciples,” we’re not qualified to lead because all that we’re doing will cease to exist after we’re gone. Leaders must replicate themselves.

The Environment of the Group

The leader will model everything that he wants to accomplish in the group. He leads in transparency, accountability, building trust, and many other traits that you desire to instill into the group. The most important aspect is trust. Members are assessing the leader in two specific ways:

  • Can I trust you?
  • Are you able to help me?

I cannot overstate how vital it is to build the trust, and with some folks, it could take multiple years. There is a downside of having seasonal groups or groups where folks reshuffle every so often.

For a sanctification group, you need a long-term setting for folks to build trust. This structure is also conducive for training and launching new leaders to start other groups. And you can bring a new person in every so often, but you’re not changing the core of the group dynamically.

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